We had a discussion the other day on people’s attitude towards photography and we made some interesting observations. I thought I might share a few with you.
In years past photography was highly valued. I think, in part, because it took so much to get an image. You had to buy a roll of film, take it to be developed and then you got to see the pictures. Each image became a treasure of the past. Most people would say they would save their pictures in a disaster before anything else.
Now, photography is everywhere. Most people always have some sort of camera with them, even if it is only their phone. Images have become almost disposable. Even little children know this. When I do portraits, the children are always asking me if they can see the image. I’m sure it comes from other people showing the child the back of the camera. In reality, that is probably the only time that child will ever see that image.
Hundreds of thousands of images are taken on cell phones each year usually to all be lost when that person gets a new phone. In years past that would have been like having your house burn down and not rescuing your pictures.
It is an interesting observation. I believe the lesson is that we need to be more diligent in printing and preserving our images. Digital images are not archival. It will be a rare thing to have a digital image last for 20 years. If you want your images to last you need to print them.
Our memories and our legacy to the future depends on what we write and what we photograph.